As a train speeds over the Sankey Viaduct, the dead body of a man is hurled into the canal below. Inspector Robert Colbeck and Sergeant Victor Leeming take charge of their most complex and difficult case yet. Hampered by the fact that the corpse has nothing on him to indicate his identity, they are baffled until a young woman comes forward to explain that the murder victim, Gaston Chabal, is an engineer, working on a major rail link in France. As the case takes on an international dimension, problems accumulate. The detectives wonder if the murder is connected to a series of vicious attacks on the rail link that is being built by British navvies under the direction of a British construction engineer. Colbeck and Leeming have to survive personal danger, resistance from the French government, broadsides from their Superintendent, and many other setbacks before they solve the crime.
About the Author
Edward Marston has written over a hundred books, including some non fiction. He is best known for his hugely successful Railway Detective series. His other current series are the Home Front Detective , set in the Great War, and the Bow Street Rivals, featuring identical twin detectives during the Regency.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Another Victorian era police procedural set in the early days of the railways. This time Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are called in to investigate a murder on the Sankey Viaduct, but their hunt for the murderer takes them to the construction site for a new railway line in France. The construction company is British, but the navvies come from all over Europe, adding a new dimension to the problems of investigating murder.I thought the first book in this series suffered from a bad case of "my research, let me show you it", but here the background material is seamlessly woven in to provide some wonderful world-building. Lots of fun, and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Another in the 'Railway Detective' series from Martson, this time involving a murder on a railway viaduct leading to a French railway project with jingoistic overtones from British villains. A thoughtful plot takes us through a number of set pieces about Victorian railway culture. I felt it was all a little flat for my taste; all the twists and events seemed to come as no surprise and the secondary characters were only there for colour rather than as ingredients in the mix.